History and legends of gold and farming

Glenorchy, rich in history, logging, gold & scheelite mining and now farming

No one knows for sure whether the quiet valley called Paradise, just up the road from Blanket Bay, takes its name from the beautiful ducks that flock here or the magnificence of the environment.

Certainly no other word but paradise could describe the rugged natural splendor of the surrounding landscape. It has been home to the Paradise duck since time immemorial. When you hold their rich feathers up to the light they shine a brilliant green. These gentle ducks illustrate a love story as old as the valley itself. When two birds find each other they share a lifelong partnership. Today, their bright feathers are identified with the sanctuary of romantic seclusion found on the doorstep of Paradise.

The name, Blanket Bay, recalls the events a century ago when pioneer farmers from Europe sheared their sheep on the shore of our bay under rough shelters stitched together from blankets.

In 1861, a mob of sheep owned by Mr William Gilbert Rees were sheared on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, in a bay just south of where the small town of Glenorchy is situated.  This bay was to be named Blanket Bay after blankets used to create the shed and shelters used to protect the eight Maori shearers and the wool from the elements.